John Fogerty Biography
Fogerty’s enduring songs like “Proud Mary” and “Fortunate Son” are now so firmly engrained in our collective consciousness they seem to have come to us from the American soil as much as from any one man. But there is only one man who penned such classic songs like “Bad Moon Rising” “Who’ll Stop The Rain.” “Lodi,” “Looking Out My Back Door,” “Run Through The Jungle” and “Centerfield” to name just a few of the modern standards that Fogerty has brought us.
This music struck such a huge, resounding chord in America -- and around the world -- that it has never really gone away. Now with Deja vu (All Over Again), Fogerty strikes that same sort of chord with an inspired new album that beautifully showcases his artistry and his soul. Of course, John Fogerty recorded many of his great songs as the leader of the now legendary band called Creedence Clearwater Revival. His music for Creedence -- and for his subsequent solo career -- was never about fashion or hype. This was something far deeper and more lasting than your typical rock & roll success story. From the start, Fogerty blended rockabilly, R&B, swamp rock and country music into a potent mix that became all his own. Fogerty’s soulful sound had the power of his beloved rock & roll forefathers but Fogerty also managed to address the burning social issues of his time in a way that has proven subtle and timeless.
Bruce Springsteen -- one of Fogerty’s biggest fans and the artist who has most directly tapped into Fogerty’s plainspoken yet poetic populist tradition -- perhaps put it best. While inducting Creedence Clearwater Revival into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1993, Springsteen noted, “Creedence wasn’t the hippest band in the world, but they were the best.” First and foremost, it was the songs and the voice of John Fogerty that made Creedence the best. Creedence Clearwater Revival split in 1972, amid personal tensions and financials mishaps. Feeling burnt by his experience, John Fogerty started a more low-key solo career, then disappeared from the music scene entirely to get some distance from what had become for him a rather painful business.
Finally in 1984, Fogerty returned in stunning form with the winning album Centerfield that seemed tied to his finest work with CCR yet sounded utterly up to date. The album marked more than simply a successful comeback --this was the welcome return of a great American artist to his rightful place. Eye of The Zombie followed in 1987, and Fogerty started to hit the road again.
Initially, Fogerty refused to perform Creedence songs when he would play live, but finally he decided to give them new life when asked to appear at a benefit for Viet Nam Vets -- the same generation for whom his music was truly the soundtrack to their lives. “Gradually I realized that these were not just my songs anymore,” he explains. To this day, John Fogerty remains a genuinely great artist – one of the defining songwriters of our time. His last studio album, 1997’s warmly rootsy, Grammy Award-winning Blue Moon Swamp suggested it. And now the vital Deja Vu (All Over Again) proves it beyond any reasonable doubt. Sometimes you have to look back for a moment to see where it is that you’re really heading. The haunting title track to John Fogerty’s stunning new album is clearly a song with powerful echoes of our shared past. Yet the song’s message is an undeniably timely one. With a title borrowed from the wit and wisdom of Yogi Berra, “Deja Vu (All Over Again)” casts a knowing eye on the mistakes of an earlier time of war and suggests all too familiar new errors are being made here and now. As he first did so unforgettably during the Vietnam era, John Fogerty is using his great gifts as a singer and songwriter to speak powerfully to his times.
But there are lots more where that came from here. On Deja vu (All Over Again), Fogerty -- who produced the album himself -- plays to his many strengths in ways that seem both rock solid and fresh. Backed by extraordinary musicians including Kenny Aronoff on drums, Jerry Douglas on dobro, Viktor Krauss on bass, Benmont Tench on organ, Mark Knopfler and Dean Parks on guitar, Fogerty has brought together a stunning song cycle on which his roots are definitely showing.
“Sugar-Sugar (In My Life) is a lilting, soulful celebration of love that seems inspired by Fogerty’s current life as a husband and father. “She’s Got Baggage” is funny, hard-edged and decidedly modern. “Radar” rocks winningly with a strong, feel-good flavor. “Honey Do” is appropriately ripe with folk bluesy sensuality -- like some latter-day Sun Session.
Featuring inspired guitar work from Knopfler and Fogerty, “Nobody’s Here Anymore” is stinging state of the union rocker. “I Will Walk With You” -- a gorgeous song of love and dedication -- has an eternal bluegrass grace. With John Fogerty credited on “Spooky Keyboard” as well as bass, percussion and guitars, “Wicked Old Witch” is swampy, scary and entirely bewitching in the great “Bad Moon Rising” tradition. Finally, there is “In The Garden,” which takes us home with a big, almost Jimi Hendrix-like bang.
At turns personal and political, modern and timeless, Deja vu (All Over Again) brings us John Fogerty at his best, and in any era, the record shows that it simply doesn’t get better than that. “You can observe a lot by watching,” Yogi Berra once noted as only he could. But with John Fogerty’s Deja vu (All Over Again), the time has come again to really listen.
John Fogerty Bio from Discogs
In 1965 he formed The Golliwogs with his brother Tom Fogerty, Doug Clifford and Stu Cook.